The Prime Minister has confirmed new temporary and precautionary measures following the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK.

The Omicron variant contains a large number of spike protein mutations as well as mutations in other parts of the viral genome.

Two cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in Essex and Nottingham. Targeted testing and contact tracing is now underway.

Early indications suggest this variant may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and current vaccines may be less effective against it. A rapid rise in infections in South Africa has been attributed to the spread of this new variant of Covid-19.

Targeted measures will be introduced as a precaution to slow down the spread of the variant while we gather more information.

These are:

England's Health Secretary Sajid Javid has asked the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to consider rapidly extending boosters, as well as reducing the gap between the second dose and booster.

That could mean people under 40s being offered a third jab, and third jabs coming sooner than six months after your second.

Travel restrictions have already been implemented to slow the spread of the variant and protect our borders. From 4am on Sunday South Africa, Botswana, Lesostho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibi, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola will be added to the UK’s travel red list.

Anyone coming into the UK from those 10 countries will need to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.

Wales has already said it will employ the same rules on travel - while the mask rules are already in force.

The new measures will be reviewed within three weeks.